When the pain of dreams unfulfilled finally exceeds the growl of our fears . . .
Dreams are among the most powerful resources humans possess. Great leaders often carry big dreams. Such dreamers have altered world history, transformed civilizations, and discovered brand new worlds never before imagined. While not every dream is so far reaching, all envision the realization of what others deemed impossible. And, regardless the scope, all dreams share one thing in common—they come with a cost. Certainly, no dream is fulfilled unless the dreamer is willing to pay!
Continue reading “The Cost of a Dream”
For dreams to be born fears must be faced.
There is nothing to fear but fear itself. In the cold grip of the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt declared these words at his Presidential Inaugural Address of 1933. In this speech, he spoke of a very real, though intangible, enemy of the United States—the fear of fear. And then he laid out how such fear was strangling the very soul of the nation. Roosevelt understood that fear of the unknown can paralyze people from realizing their dreams of a better future. Even today, regardless our fears, the outcome of inactivity remains the same—death of our dreams and sickness in our souls.
Continue reading “Facing Fear’s Shadow”
This week we launch our thirteenth devotional poem. The next five weeks of blog posts will draw from themes in this poem.
Deep in our souls we nurture a seed,
Where God in his wisdom
plants a beautiful dream.
And there it remains
Just waiting to sprout,
Till faith is embraced
And hope calls it out.
Continue reading “Devotional Poem: Speak to Your Soul”
Fear’s facade now flickers, fades, and soon flies away.
Fear is a gift. Our capacity to fear is necessary for human survival and flourishing. It can protect and propel us to do what we never believed possible. Yet, not all fear is created equal. It can also devolve into something entirely other—a destructive force stealing our joy and hijacking our hopes. Unfortunately, most tragic of all is that often we are unable to discern the difference between fear as friend or foe. Why?
Continue reading “Freedom from Fear”
Though, in time I’d soon find far greater treasures yet to be mined.
Some things can only be known by experience. We’ll never understand the meaning of “peace” or “love” or “hope” until we personally encounter these realities ourselves. No amount of books or courses will ever suffice until such things are actually known by experience. While few people would challenge the truth of these claims, why is it that we tend to be so hesitant to speak of the need for an experiential faith? For many, it’s as terrifying as facing uncharted ocean waters.
Continue reading “Beyond the Fear of Uncharted Waters”
The ebb and flow is a fact of life. Away from it we cannot run. We shall be tossed, we shall be thrown but our raft we choose.
December in Brussels averages only a little more than one hour of cloudless sunlight per day. The days are short and heavy clouds rule the sky most of the time. Many people emotionally suffer from the lack of sunlight during this time of the year. Doctors have a name for this condition, they call it SAD—Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Continue reading “Weather of the Heart”
Oh frustrating ebb and flow! Why do you trick me with your ways? One day your waves of wanton joy, the next your waves of weeping woe!
Emotions are a mixed bag. They can take us to the heights of joyful bliss and the depths of human despair. For some, they are the spice of life and for others . . . humanity’s curse. Such unpredictability has earned emotions a reputation of bad news for the life of the mind. Yet, interestingly, recent breakthroughs in the cognitive sciences have redeemed the perceived cognitive value of emotions. Believe it or not, these findings actually bear directly on our understanding and experience of Christian faith.
Continue reading “Rethinking Faith, Knowledge, and Emotions”
This week we launch our eleventh devotional poem. The next five weeks of blog posts will draw from themes in this poem.
When I am tossed,
When I am thrown,
And when I feel a little bit blue . . .
In the ebb and flow of my churning emotions
I hear His whisper in the wind,
“I am enough.”
Continue reading “Devotional Poem: The Ebb and the Flow”
Light hand knows confidence. Tight hand knows fear.
Controlling love is an oxymoron. The moment we try to control by means of love is the moment we cease loving. It matters not if our control has good intentions or is kind and gentle. We cannot and must not call this love. Therefore, love respects the other’s free will—to choose however deemed best. To manipulate or remove this choice is to simply confuse love with self-interest.
Continue reading “Love and Free Will”
Light hand relaxes… it knows where to place its tight hand – on God.
Human relationships rise or fall upon the currency of
trust. Yet for so many, trust does not come easily. It’s difficult because it requires
exposure; and few things are more potentially devastating than an exposed heart.
Some people never move past such loss and most only do so with great emotional and
mental effort. But if we’re willing, God can help us learn to trust again.
Continue reading “Facing the Fear of Trust”